How to Achieve a Good Work/Life Balance as a Personal Trainer
Personal training – it’s a career that most actively aimed for, not just fell into. Maybe you became a personal trainer because of your own passion for health and fitness, a love for helping others or an entrepreneurial attitude. Whatever got you into personal training initially, like any job, it comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.
At first, you might have thought that it would reduce your hours down drastically from the typical 9-5 and offer more flexibility and free time. For some this is certainly the case, but with clients who want sessions first thing in the morning, clients who are only available last thing at night, and odd bookings in-between, your days might sometimes feel longer than ever!
On top of this, with the boom in online coaching, some clients now expect your assistance at all hours of the day. It can be hard to even open your phone without being distracted by the constant ‘ping’ of notifications!
Of course, this is a career you chose and love. But for your own wellbeing, it is important to establish a healthy work-life balance early on. We asked Master Tutor, Nikos Skevis, from Premier Global NASM, the UK’s leading personal training course provider for some top tips!
💡 We’re excited to introduce Premier Global NASM as a new Partner to the My PT Hub Marketplace! My PT Hub Premium trainers can now access exclusive discounts on their courses, just head to the Marketplace to find out more.💡
Creating a work-life balance
1. Get Organised
If you’re reading this and you haven’t used personal training software to support your business, then this is your lucky day! One of the first things Premier Global NASM recommend to all of their graduates is to get signed up with My PT Hub’s industry-leading software. It will help you with all of the points below, simple as that!
2. Set Clear Boundaries
Ideally, this is something that should be made clear to clients early on, so that boundaries and expectations are clear from the get-go. A happy client who feels that they are getting the service they paid for is a client more likely to stay on long term! For example, if you don’t respond to work related messages after 8pm, or you expect them to check in with their morning weight by 10am, make sure that this is clear in the initial consultation phase.
3. Say ‘No’
When taking in-person bookings, realise that as you become more established you can have some more say over this. When starting out, you should be prepared to work whatever hours are required to build your client base. As you near full capacity and find that demand is high, don’t be afraid to be more selective with what hours you are on the gym floor. Prioritise ‘busy times’ and let people know that these slots are highly sought after – it only helps your marketing!
4. Raise Prices
From here, as the business grows from strength to strength, there may be a time where it is appropriate for you to raise your prices. Don’t be premature with this, but if you are fully booked week on week, this will allow you to start being ‘pickier’ with your client base. Those who are willing to invest more are often more dedicated to making progress. As you can trim down total client numbers and get some hours back, you will be able to work smarter and get some time back for yourself.
5. Schedule ‘You Time’
Make sure that you schedule non-work activities just as you do PT slots. That meal out with your partner? Your child’s school play? A pizza and a film alone after work? If you are someone who thrives on a full diary, as many trainers are, make sure that these things too are marked in as non-negotiable tasks. A couple of hours to switch your phone off and do something for you is needed from time to time!
6. Create Other Income
There are only so many hours in the day for you to commit to regular, long term-clients. Look for ways that you can top up your income without having to book in more personal training slots or add more contacts to your phone!
Perhaps your clients are asking for branded clothing, or maybe you can sell one off training programmes or eBooks. After the initial set up, these things become more-or-less passive income.
7. Ask for Help
If things really start to get overwhelming, reach out to the people around you or seek out mentors (these don’t have to be people you know personally). Being self-employed doesn’t mean you have to go it alone all the time!
You might be able to build something of a community with other personal trainers in the area or online, or you might be able to seek out guidance from other resources such as books, podcasts and courses. At Premier Global NASM we have a genuine commitment to the long-term success of our students, we try to set them for success from day one, but we are always here for them to reach out to for advice and support.
If you really have too much on your plate and you are stable enough with your income, it might be time to start outsourcing parts of the business that aren’t exciting you. Many successful coaches are now taking on personal assistants, accountants, social media teams and even graphic designers or videographers who can help you level up your content.
We hope that whether you are just starting out, or a more advanced trainer ready to scale up your business, this gives you some tips on how to create a work-life balance and look after yourself, so that you can give your full energy to clients when it’s time to get in work-mode!